If you are like most Americans, you probably have not started your estate planning efforts. You also probably have at least some digital assets that you need to address in an estate plan once you create it. But do you know how to do this? Do you know what to tell your attorney?
Digital estate planning issues are relatively new, considering that most older people do not have many digital assets and most younger people do not have an estate plan. However, digital issues are more and more common in estate planning, and you need to be prepared to address them as you begin your own estate planning efforts. Let’s take a look at some of the issues you need to confront and what steps you will need to take.
Issues. Even if all you have is a simple e-mail address or Facebook page, you will want to make sure this digital asset is accounted for in your plan. The easiest way to do this is to create a detailed inventory of everything you have that exists either online or on your personal computer. You may also want to include information that is on your smart phone or other digital device.
Tools. Currently, there are no laws that directly address digital estate planning. However, you can create powers of attorney that will transfer your ability to access your digital assets to someone else upon your death or incapacity. You need to talk to your estate planning attorney to do this as each state has different laws about powers of attorney.